33 Virtual Field Trips You Can Take Right Now

The Louvre_Virtual Field Trips
Musée du Louvre / Facebook

As we begin a time of social distancing, many of us with school aged children at home are facing unprecedented challenges. Unlike winter break, spring break, or even summer break, we not only have to keep active kids entertained, but we have to do so without the prospect of play dates, social outings, or any outside help. This is a daunting task to say the least. However, thanks to technology, being stuck at home physically doesn’t mean that we can’t explore the world around us through virtual field trips.

Museums, aquariums, zoos, and other popular attractions may have closed their doors, but they have, in turn, opened up virtual tours and webcams, allowing all of us to experience the delight and wonder their facilities hold – all from the comfort of home. As you look for ways to keep your kids busy over the coming weeks, virtual field trips are an ideal way to provide your entire family with an experience that will not only open their eyes to new ideas and information, but provide topics to discuss throughout the coming weeks.

With the following 33 virtual field trips, you may not physically be able to walk the halls of the world’s most prestigious museums or visit exotic animals in person, but you can still see the world. So grab the kids, pick a destination, and get ready for an adventure!

Virtual Field Trips: Zoos and Live Animal Cams
Virtual Field Trips: Aquariums
Virtual Field Trips: Farms
Virtual Field Trips: National Parks
Virtual Field Trips: Famous Museums

Virtual Field Trips: Zoos and Live Animal Cams

Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo knows you can’t come to them, so they’re bringing the safari to you with a Home Safari Facebook Live each weekday at 3pm ET. Each day, they will highlight a new animal and include an activity that you can do at home!

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Complete the daily activity together as a family. If you miss a live stream or don’t have social media, the zoo will be posting each daily video to their website and to their YouTube channel shortly after the Facebook Live ends.


Explore.org – Live Cams 

Explore.org lets you travel the world to see animals in both natural and man-made habitats. Live cam footage is updated to show you which animals are currently live and lets you choose which ones to watch.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Be sure to scroll down to the bottom of each live cam page to learn about the animals you’ve been watching.


Houston Zoo

Get up close and personal (virtually at least!) with elephants, gorillas, giraffes, leaf cutter ants, rhinos, and chimps at the Houston Zoo. What’s even more exciting about this zoo’s webcam is that you have the chance to control it! Follow instructions at the bottom of the video box once you’re on the page and you’ll have the chance to join a virtual queue for a turn at angling the actual camera in the direction you would like.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Discuss the animals you saw and do a little online research to learn more about your favorites. Make posters or flashcards with pictures of your favorite animals and a list of facts about them, including diet, habitat, or any other interesting information.


Memphis Zoo

Watch pandas, hippos, and elephants playing, eating, sleeping, and exploring at the Memphis Zoo.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: After watching the animals, look them up on the zoo’s Animals page and learn fascinating facts about each one.


Reid Park Zoo

Check out the comings and goings of elephants, lions, grizzlies, giraffes, and lemurs at the Reid Park Zoo in Tuscon, Arizona.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Download free Zoo Activity Packets (available for grades K-5) or the STEM Activity Packet for grades 3+.


San Diego Zoo

On the San Diego Zoo Kidz site, your family has the chance to watch nearly a dozen different animal cams, including apes, elephants, pandas, tigers, penguins, and more. Each “cam page” offers video streaming of the animals along with information about their behaviors, diets, and habitats.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: When you’re done watching the animals, be sure to take advantage of the site’s many activities, games, stories, videos, and craft projects to learn more about your favorite critters!


Smithsonian National Zoo

Keep an eye on lions, pandas, elephants, and even the National Zoo’s naked mole rats! Be sure to read up on each animal as you watch them in their zoo habitats – or learn about all of the animals at the zoo here.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Download free Smithsonian National Zoo activity sheets or check out the zoos educator resources for great ideas on how to discuss and learn animals and nature.


Zoo Atlanta 

Zoo Atlanta may be closed for the time being, but that doesn’t seem to be slowing down the pandas! Watch the zoo’s giant panda munching on bamboo and going about their daily activities, then be sure to visit the main zoo website for more information on these gentle giants.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Download Zoo Atlanta’s Teacher Resources for additional ways to discuss and learn about zoo animals. While you won’t be able to see the animals in person, of course, you can find many of them on the website.


Virtual Field Trips: Aquariums 

Aquarium of the Pacific 

Choose from caverns, reefs, sharks, jellies, penguins, and more at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Their live cams will give you a firsthand look at some of their most popular exhibits, while teaching you about ocean life.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: You’ll find tons of resources on the Teachers page, including lesson plans, interactive online activities, suggest resources, and much more.


Georgia Aquarium

Go on an ocean voyage at the Georgia Aquarium with a wide selection of live web cams above and below the water. You’ll have the chance to see tropical fish, puffins, sea lions, and much more. You can also click on the “Animals” link in the top menu bar to visit different galleries throughout the aquarium.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Visit the Recommended Resources & Lesson Plans page for field and animals guides, videos, and lesson plans by grade to complement your virtual field trip.


Monterey Bay Aquarium 

If you’ve never visited this world renowned aquarium in California, here’s your chance! Tune in to one of the many live web cams to watch sharks, otters, jellyfish, and many other aquatic creatures.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Visit the educators resource page to find downloadable booklets, lesson plans, activities, games, and more to help you discuss and learn about the aquarium’s inhabitants.


National Aquarium

Take a tour of the National Aquarium on your computer and see the exhibits, galleries, and ocean creatures in full 360 degree detail. Or visit the aquarium’s home page for live cam footage of a blacktip reef, a coral reef, or jellyfish.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Visit the Animal Index on the main aquarium website to find any fish or animals you saw on your virtual tour and learn more about them.

Seattle Aquarium

Explore the Seattle Aquarium with live cams of harbor seals or sea otters, or visit online galleries to learn more about the aquarium’s many exhibits. You can also take a guided tour of the Seattle Aquarium on YouTube! The tour is designed specifically at a virtual field trip, so you’re sure to learn tons of interesting facts along the way.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Try the guided tour and discuss some of the most fascinating things you learned. Follow up with online research of some of your favorite animals or underwater creatures.


Virtual Field Trips: Farms 

American Dairy Association Virtual Farm Tours 

Last fall, the American Dairy Association put together a series of three virtual farm tours for different ages groups, allowing you and your kids to see the inner workings of a real-life farm from your own home. Here’s where to find them:

For kids aged 4 to 9: Dutch Hollow Farm
Kids aged 10-13: Will-O-Crest Farm
High school: JoBo Holsteins Farm

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Visit the American Dairy Association website for a chance to “meet” real dairy farmers and their families, learn more about dairy farms, get facts on cows and dairy products, and more.


Farm Food 360

Get 360 degree virtual tours of Canadian farms on this easy-to-use site. You’ll find virtual tours for dairy farms, grain farms, pig farms, and even mink farms! Plus, you can visit processing plants, as well, to learn more about how products get from the farms to our tables.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Watch several tours and write down questions as you go along. When you’re done, do some additional online research to answer each question.


Virtual Field Trips: National Parks 

If being cooped up indoors has left your whole family hankering for a taste of the great outdoors, we’ve got the solution. We’ve found six national parks that you can tour to get a virtual taste of nature without even leaving the house. The first five are offered by Google Arts and Culture and you can access all of them here.

The final park tour we’re featuring is perhaps the most famous one all – Yellowstone National Park. This tour is available on the National Park Service website.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: For each of the following National Park tours, be sure to click on the park name below to go to the National Park Service website specific to that park. On each of these pages, you’ll find additional information, educational resources, and more.

Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Bryce Canyon is a series of natural amphitheaters or bowls, carved into the edge of a high plateau. The most famous of these is the Bryce Amphitheater which is filled with irregularly eroded spires of rocks called “hoodoos.” The park offers four main viewpoints, all of which will leave visitors in awe: Bryce Point, Inspiration Point, Sunset Point, and Sunrise Point. Take the virtual tour here. 


Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Located in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, this park features high ancient sea ledges, deep rocky canyons, flowering cactus, and desert wildlife. But beneath the surface you’ll find more than 119 caves and breathtaking caverns – which you’ll see when you take your tour. Take the virtual tour here.


Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

This remote park sits almost 70 miles west of Key West. Its only 100-square miles with mostly open water with seven small islands, but it houses a ton of history.  The park is accessible only by boat or seaplane, but is renowned for its Civil War-era fort, clear blue waters, amazing coral reefs and marine life, and the vast assortment of bird life. Take the virtual tour here.

Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

As one of Hawai’i’s most popular destinations, Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is a national treasure. The park encompasses the summits of two of the world’s most active volcanoes – Kīlauea and Mauna Loa and sits 13,677 feet above sea level at its highest point. This park also protects some of the most unique geological, biological, and cultural landscapes in the world. Take the virtual tour here. 


Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

With nearly 40 glaciers extending from the Harding Icefield, Kenai Fjords sits at on the Kenai Peninsula. Despite the ice and cold, wildlife thrives and lush forests surround this park’s vast icy expanse. Take the virtual tour here. 


Yellowstone National Park

This famous park has been home to humans and animals for more than 11,000 years. Many tribes and bands used the park as their home, hunting grounds, and transportation routes prior to and after European American arrival. Yellowstone was established as the world’s first national park in 1872 and today, is one of the most popular tourists destinations in the county. Take the virtual tour here. 

Virtual Field Trips: Famous Museums 

British Museum, London

Head to the heart of London to take a virtual tour of the British Museum. Discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies along with hundreds of other artifacts on the museum’s virtual tour. You can also learn more with online exhibits, listen to free downloadable podcasts, and explore collections individually.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Use the museum’s educational resources to find age-appropriate information on teaching, as well as downloadable activities.


Guggenheim Museum, New York

Go inside one of the world’s most iconic museums with Google’s Street View. Virtual visitors can tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase and discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Download free teaching materials from the museum to help you discuss and learn about artists from around the world.

Louvre, Paris 

Perhaps one of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre Museum in Paris is home to famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa. And while their doors may be closed, they’ve opened a virtual world of artwork to anyone who wishes to see it. Take a virtual tour or explore individual artworks online.
Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Use the “Learning About Art” link at the top of the Louvre’s homepage to discover useful educational resources, including Through Children’s Eyes, which includes two short videos designed to teach kids about art.

MASP, São Paulo

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is Brazil’s first modern museum. Discover sensational artwork that seems to hover in midair throughout this modern masterpiece of a museum with Google’s Street View virtual tour.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: The museums doesn’t offer specific educational resources on their site, but the incredible displays that you’ll see on your virtual tour should leave you with plenty to talk about!

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

See the works of famous artists like Monet, Cézanne, and Gauguin, and more as you take a virtual field trip through the halls of the Musée d’Orsay. In this interactive virtual tour, you’ll scroll through slides that show you the history of the building (considered a work of art unto itself) and have the chance to visit many of its exhibits.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Access the museums Discovery program to complete a “distance visit” of this famous gallery and learn more about the works it houses.


National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

As one of the most famous American art museums, the National Gallery is an American treasure. And now, with two online exhibits, you can visit the world of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including many renderings of clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras; as well as explore the works of Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Download the NGAkids Art Zone for iPad for continued interactive learning, or try one of the museum’s interactive activities for families. You can also find educational resources including downloadable images and lesson plans.


National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul

Choose from a variety of online exhibits and experiences with Google’s virtual tour of the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art and see one of Korea’s popular museums. Along the way, you’ll visit six floors of contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: The museum does not offer any specific educational materials for download, but be sure to discuss the works you see with your kids and maybe even research some of your favorites.


Pergamon Museum, Berlin

As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon is truly a site to see – even from your own living room. Use Google Street View to tour this museum’s ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the Pergamon Altar.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: The museum does not offer any specific educational materials for download, but be sure to discuss the works you see with your kids and maybe even research some of your favorites.


Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Google offers a Street View tour of this iconic museum, allowing you to explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Get the whole family involved with Rijksmuseum’s digital family game. Together, you’ll have to solve eight fascinating Rijksmuseum mysteries. It takes about one hour and if you succeed, there’s another surprise waiting at the end of the tour.


The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

At this well known California museum, you’ll find European works of art from as far back as the 8th Century. Take a Google Street View tour to discover a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs – or explore online books, videos, and collections.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: With the museum’s online teaching resources, you can play games and find activities, or browse through hundreds of lesson plans to find the right resources based on your child’s age and interest.


Uffizi Gallery, Florence

This gracious Italian gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de’Medicis. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de’Medici, but today, you can wander the elegant halls with a Google Street View tour.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: The museum doesn’t offer specific educational resources on their site, you be sure to visit the Artworks page to take a closer look at some of the most famous works of art and learn more about their creation.


Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

You may not be able to visit this famous museum in person, but now the Van Gogh Museum will come to you. With the Museum at Home page on the museum’s website, you can learn about Vincent van Gogh; see his works including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters; and find tons of fun educational activities designed for kids.

Virtual Field Trip Follow-up: Visit the Museum at Home page to find all the resources you need to turn this virtual tour into a learning experience.


Looking for more ways to keep the kids busy over the next few weeks? Be sure to check out Richmond Mom’s list of 25 Free Online Learning Resources for Families!